It is one thing that has boggled my mind! Psychics, Religion, Ghosts, Angels, even when you show them all the physiological evidence people will find a loophole excuse to believe it!!! Will humans ever grow out of it? Or will we go through a merry go round of superstitions??

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Fear of the unknown. When you can't explain something, the reason has to be a spook. It puts their mind at ease, gives them a comforting faux feeling of not feeling dumb, though it makes them look dumber than ever. Religion in a nutshell.
I believe we'll become more empirical as we advance. It's nice to have something to fall back on, but the supernatural doesn't have to be it. Plain old lies work just as well.
I guess some people want to believe so that they won't have to take total control of their life. Also, reality is boring to them. It may be similar to the mindset of someone viewing themselves as an employee hoping for a raise rather than a self starter who knows no boundaries.
Until humans get over their fear of death and Nihlism, religion will alway's be a part of life.

We just need to try and lesson it's most negative effects :)
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception” Aldous Huxley

There are things we do not know.

1: We will always try to find reason for the unknown.

2: Quantum Physics is suggesting the possibility of things existing at 2 locations at the same time, or of other universes existing in the same place at the same time. It is possible that there could be an overlap of time and space that is almost unseen and at present unexplainable.

While I do not believe in superstitions ( yes I know I have my own personal superstitions :) I have seen heard and experienced things that do somewhat defy explanation.

While I know there must be a reason for them at the moment none could really be suggested.

While I look to science for an explanation many would attribute these things to supernatural forces.
Doug,
What exactly have you heard or experienced that have defied explanationm, if I may politely ask?? I believe all this supernarural and unexplainable phenomena may just be a response of our brains; the total function of which will not be resolved in our lifetime. There will never be enough scientific education to answer everyone or everything.
The brain caches memories in much the same way your web browser does. "Eyes playing tricks on you" in my opinion is, on rare occassions, like when your tired or off your face on something, you'll get flashes of cached information instead of what you're really looking at. I've experienced it a lot myself. Of course, there are an unfortunate number of assholes that choose the lazy "supernatural" option to explain these things.
I doubt humanity will outgrow its need of 'something is out there' for a very, very long time.

Mankind has 'needed' beliefs for a very long time. From the sun-gods, animal-totems and spirit-guides up to the modern Jesus; society as a whole has seemed to rely on these 'out there, watching you' sort of ideas to keep society in line and under control. Next it will be some sort of Aliens or world-wide terrorists coming to take your children.

And yes, I'm a bit of a pessimist where human-kind is involved.
I have to side with your point of view of pessimism to society. Everytime I get excited for a new landmark discovery, there's some one believing something stupid or doing really stupid things, or even worse people gathering in a stupid thing.
Our answers to your question all seem to be similar. And naturally, correct. As far as pessimism goes (and I am among the pessimistic) - all the free-thinkers progressives (artists of various sorts etc..) have always been in the vast minority.

It takes courage to be different, particularly as we are sliding back not some sort of ignorant impoverishment. Unfortunately the US is mating its intellectual poverty with real material poverty. We will have to see if "Liberal" values of the next administration will combat the biblical nut-cases running the government and the country in to the ground.

But I think forums like this, or atheist fighting back in general, is a sign that we will fight the complacency that allows the majority to bully the minority.


Gregg
Fear of the unknown, coupled with a brain capable of abstract thought.
he only way i can think of seeing the future other than time travel is time having natural parodoxes eg: a person that see the future helps cause it throught a butterly effect because thats how it was always meant to be the future feeds back into the past to cause itself.

but i doubt that to be the case at all
the reason why most people believe this stuff...because we evolved that way

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